This is how the Val d’Aosta could be described, due its many high peaks that border the region (amongst which there is Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain). But this small region is also blessed with a surprising amount of natural beauties, monuments and precious artistic and historic assets.
Aosta is the regional capital and the only province in the Valley, and is a city full of history. The many remainders of the ancient Augusta Pretoria (Aosta’s Latin name) are visible, such as the large Arco di Augusto and the remains of the Roman Theatre. The Medieval period was extremely prosperous for Aosta: it was an important crossroads for commercial trade between France and Switzerland and therefore underwent a long period of well-being.
The Valley’s natural scenery is magnificent: from Mont Blanc’s breathtaking peaks to the harsh beauty of Cervino, from the spectacular Monte Rosa (so-called because of the colour that its glaciers become at certain times of day) to Gran Paradiso, the large mountain in the middle of a Nature Park with the same name. This park has over 200,000 hectares of woodlands and landscapes inhabited by uniquely beautiful and charming species of animals.
The Valley’s tourist centres and ski resorts have a well-established reputation, such as the well-known Courmayer and Breuil Cervinia. Amongst the region’s typical products there are Fontina (cheese) and Jambon, a special ham from the Valle del Gran San Bernardo. Juniper, thyme and the valley’s herbs give it a delicate and aromatic aroma and it is left to mature in hay, which gives it an unmistakable fragrance. The DOP brand certifies its origins and guarantees the quality of the whole production process: it is only produced in the small village of Saint Rhémy en Bosses, at an altitude of 1.600 metres, following an ancient tradition passed down through generations. In the Valle d’Aosta, culture can also be found in its cuisine.
Aosta, a town encircled by its “pearls”. By great mountain surrounded, the town reveals its ancient origin.